London Asian Film Festival

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The London Asian Film Festival is a British film festival organised by the not-for-profit organisation Tongues on Fire Ltd. and takes place annually in the spring in London. The festival is the leading and longest running Asian film festival in Europe having completed the 18th edition of the festival in March 2016. The festival caters mainly to South Asian films to date, with main events usually held at either BAFTA or the BFI. At the 2016 festival awards ceremony at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, the festival also paid tribute to the late Saeed Jaffrey with a portrait presented to Jennifer Jaffrey by Farrukh Dhondy on behalf of the festival.


Founding directors Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry and Mrs Harvinder Nath started the festival in 1999. The films featured are usually independent or arthouse cinema, as opposed to more popular or mainstream films as the festival has been celebrating Bollywood and Beyond since its conception. The festival's philosophy is to recognize that entertainment is intertwined with important political and social messages and to promote films that tackle challenging issues of society. Special guests from the industry have included Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake), Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Aparna Sen (15, park Avenue) and Meera Syal (Anita and Me), actors Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Madhur Jaffrey, Kiron Kher, Tannishtha Chatterjee, the Bachchan family and Bollywood legend Helen. In addition to acting and directing, the festival also provides a platform for other aspects within film and arts. The 17th edition of the festival in March 2015 featured the phenomenal choreographer and director Farah Khan with a Choreography Masterclass at Southbank Centre, a Director's Masterclass at Brunei Gallery, SOAS and the UK's first ever Bollywood sing along with Om Shanti Om at the Prince Charles Cinema. The 18th edition of the festival in March 2016 featured an 'In Conversation with...' renowned Indian superstar author and screenwriter Chetan Bhagat (3 Idiots, 2 States, Half-Girlfriend.)

Festival Administration[edit]

The festival's Patrons are; Abhishek Bachchan,[1] Prof. Rachel Dwyer, Lord Diljit Rana, Sunita Sangar, Meera Syal and Saira Kazmi. The Board is made up of Roddy Mullin, Anna Macdonald, Balvinder Mudan, Navin Shah, Mamta Kaash, Daya Thussu, Suniya Qureshi and Ajay Chowdhury.

Festival Films[edit]

At the 14th LAFF in 2012 Pakistani films won 3 awards for the first time in the festival's history. Bol won three awards: Humaima Malik won Best Film Actress, Shoaib Mansoor won the award for Best Film and Amr Kashmiri won the award for Best New Talent, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan won Best Music Talent Award for the song Koi Dil Mein from the film Tamanna.

The 16th Edition of LAFF was held on 1–14 June 2014. The Festival was opened by Nagesh Kukunoor's film on Child Trafficking Lakshmi.[2] The UK Pakistani collaboration Tamanna had its UK premier at the festival on 8 June 2014.

Other stand out films to have premiered at LAFF include Fire, Godmother, Khamosh Pani, Barfi, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, Waiting, Manto, Rang Rasiya, Margarita With A Straw and Good Morning Karachi.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Malik, Sunny. "Abhishek Bahchan opens the London Asian Film Festival". Bollyspice. Retrieved 2012-07-28. Bollywood actor and festival Patron Abhishek Bachchan attended the Opening Night of the 14th London Asian Film Festival hosted by Tongues on Fire last Friday at the prestigious British Film Institute.
  2. ^ "Lakshmi to be opening film of 16th London Asian Film Festival 2014". IANS. Retrieved 11 May 2014.